Mark Weaver, the top campaign strategist for Senator John McCain, believed rumors that McCain's wife Cindy was having an affair with a Tempe man, according to a new book hitting stores this week.
Game Change, the new behind-the-scenes look at the 2008 presidential campaign by veteran reporters Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, is already generating lots of talk among political observers. Its authors paint devastating portraits of everyone from Elizabeth Edwards (who apparently isn't quite the saint we've been led to believe) to Bill Clinton, who supposedly told Ted Kennedy that "a few years ago," Barack Obama "would have been getting us coffee." Yikes!
Phoenix's own Cindy McCain isn't immune from the book's reach, either.
According to a short excerpt of the book in Atlantic magazine's blog, McCain aides confronted Cindy about her rumored affair with a Tempe used-car salesman:
"The man was said to be her long-term boyfriend; the pair had been sighted all over town in the last few years," the book says. "Members of McCain's senior staff discussed the unsettling news, and their growing concerns that Cindy's behavior had been increasingly erratic of late. [John] Weaver and others suspected that the Cindy rumor was rooted in truth. It was upsetting, Weaver believed, but not a threat."
As New Times' Ray Stern reported during the campaign, the National Enquirer eventually outed McCain's rumored boyfriend as Dino Castelli of Tempe.
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Castelli filed a restraining order against the Enquirer last November, accusing the tabloid of harassing him and his family.
He told Stern that he'd known Cindy McCain for years, but he called rumors of an affair "a crock of shit."
Hmmmm.... sounds like Mark Weaver didn't think so.
And, as the book notes, the National Enquirer certainly nailed the details of another imploding marriage during the 2008 campaign. We'll definitely be getting a copy of the tome as soon as we can; we'll let you know if we find out anything else about the McCains.